AFP Oregon & SW Washington Chapter History
By Cliff Mansley, Chapter Historian and Founding Member
ASSOCIATION OF FUND RAISING PROFESSIONALS
Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter
(formerly National Society of Fund Raising Executives - Oregon Chapter)
Far fetched though it may seem, the origins of the Oregon Chapter go back to 1950 when Chapter founder, Cliff Mansley, served on the staff of Treasure Island Camp, Boy Scouts of America with Richard Wilson who later became the National President of NSFRE. This friendship, that began 34 years before the founding of our Chapter, continued until his death in 1989. This friendship was an important motivating factor in getting the Oregon Chapter started in 1984. The friendship, combined with the fact that several Oregonians (Phil Stolberg with the Salvation Army, Ron Nordeen with St. Vincent’s Hospital , Barbara Bell and Cliff Mansley, with the Boy Scouts) were already NSFRE members, helped to launch the Chapter. There was a felt need that fund raisers in Oregon should have some affiliation with a national organization.
Early meetings to get a chapter started were held in the Spring of 1984 at the Boy Scout office with participants including Caroline Punches of the American Heart Association, Katie Foehl of Good Samaritan Foundation, Phil Stolberg, Salvation Army, Margaret Jay, Portland Opera, Bruce Winston, Boy Scouts, Sally Woolley and John Gibbens, Boy Scouts, David Larson, Fruit and Flower child Center, Dottie Wilson, OMSI, Kathy Brumwell, Red Cross, Krista Larson, YM CA, May Medved, Burnside Projects and Don Jarman of Northwestern NBA Services and others in attendance.
Richard Wilson, NSFRE National President met with several members of the Organizing Committee in late April of 1984 and momentum began to build for the new chapter.
A meeting on august 22nd, 1984 really got the ball rolling with the fact that 16 persons had signed on as charter members, one above the necessary 15. A nominating committee headed by Caroline Punches and including Krista Larson, John Collier and Dottie Wilson was appointed to nominate a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer and nine directors. Initial committees would include: Membership, Philanthropic, Education and Communications. A bylaws committee was also appointed chaired by Phil Stolberg and including David Larson and Kathleen Brumwell. Plans were now in motion for the chartering meeting to take place on September 25, 1984.
With lots of promotion and energy the Chartering meeting was held on September 25th in the Conference rooms of the NW Natural Gas. Twenty two members were on hand for this election of officers, adoption of the bylaws and other necessary business. The Founding President was Cliff Mansley, Boy Scouts of America, Vice President, Caroline Punches of American Heart Assn.. National dues were $100 and local dues $25 as of the chartering date. The chapter was honored with the presence of the National President , Dick Wilson, who spoke about the national organization and its work in promoting philanthropy.
The first program meeting of the chapter took place on October 26 with a program devoted to planned giving and presented by Don Jarman and Bruce Winston, the November program was presented by Margaret Jay. Marilyn Clark and John Collier and was devoted to Volunteer Recruitment. Katie Foehl and Caroline Punches combined to present the next program on Corporate Giving.
In the first months of organization and during the first two or three years of the Chapter’s existence there was a reticence by some members of WVDO to become involved in the new Oregon Chapter of NSFRE. WVDO was local, was large and had many loyal followers. Over time this reticence has been somewhat overcome as fund raising professionals realized the advantages of being a part of a national organization. They saw the benefit of monthly rather than quarterly meetings, networking through a national organization, receiving educational and program support from NSFRE nationally and other benefits.
Attendance at meetings during the early months and years was also a challenge. Most restaurants require a minimum of 25 attendees to reserve a room. Often we could only muster 20 or 22 and the Founding President found that he had to pick up the tab for a few meals now and then. Finding a suitable location was also difficult. Early meetings were held at the Fish and Wildlife conference room, a Chinese restaurant (now defunct), Salty’s on the Willamette (now defunct) Holladay Park Medical Center and other places. Finally the chapter settled down at the Mallory Hotel where we met for several years. The meeting room was right for a small group, the price was right and the parking not too bad. Our most exciting and memorable meal occurred when each person was served a whole leg of Turkey.
As president of the chapter Cliff Mansley had a great deal of difficulty working himself out of the job. Caroline Punches of the American Heart Association was slated to succeed as President and she moved to Dallas. Don Jarman was then slated to become President and he moved to Los Angeles. Kathy Brumwell was then in line to be President and she moved to Seattle to direct the Leukemia society there. Finally it was decided to select someone as vice President who was new in town and therefore would not be moving any time soon. Bob Yardley, Newly appointed Director of Development for the Salvation Army, filled that bill and had the courage to say “I will”. So, in 1987 Bob became the Oregon chapter’s second President succeeding Cliff who had held the position for two and a half years.
The first Annual Fund Raising Conference of the Chapter was held in November of 1986 at the Hilton Hotel. This was a daring effort for an organization with barely 50 members. The event was held for two major reasons: provide a local educational experience for fund raising executives, and, raise money for the other programs of the Chapter. Ron Sumner, then of the MS Society, bravely stepped forward to chair this event. Attendance reached the phenomenal number of 75. The first Philanthropy Day Luncheon, headed by Marcia Director, was held in conjunction with this conference. Henry Casey of the Casey Foundation, and one of the founders of UPS and Lou Perry, Chairman of the board of Standard Insurance, were the honorees.
During Robert Yardley’s term of office, the chapter membership grew to 50. A monthly program on Executive Search in the Fund Raising Field reached a new luncheon high with an attendance of 80 at the lately lamented Salty’s on the Willamette. Another first was the CFRE Survey Course which was entirely run by members of the chapter. A highlight during Bob’s Presidency was the meeting of the National Board, held at the Marriott Hotel. All will remember the great seven-course meal designed to show the National Board that the Marriott had the stuff to host National events. They will also remember the salmon cookout in the park. The selection of Clair Siddall as President-elect (a first) also assured the continuance of the chapter.
Veteran development officer Clair Siddall assumed the president’s reigns in 1988. The chapter grew under Clair’s able leadership adding a program for fund raising neophytes which occurred before and sometimes after the luncheon meetings. This program then became a Thursday program and was later spun off to WVDO.
Krista Larsen served as president during 1989. There were no minutes or historical information for this year. During this period of time a job bank was established and funded by Tom Wilson. The job bank was well received by the fund raisers. As time went by the job bank became a cooperative venture with WVDO. Eventually it was spun off to WVDO.
Katie Foehl was president during 1990. Membership reached 173. The annual fund raising conference was widely praised by participants and had a net income of $9,000. The chapter conducted another local CFRE survey course.
Tom Wilson began a two year term as president. A board retreat was held with three main outcomes: (1) The Chapter should be membership driven (2) We should take a strong stand on upholding fund raising ethics and (3)The chapter should strive to be the pre-eminent fund raising organization. The Philanthropy Day Dinner and the Annual Conference were held separately for the first time. The following Mission Statement was adopted:
“The mission of the Oregon Chapter of NSFRE is to promote philanthropy for the public good by fostering leadership, ethical practices and education within the Fund Raising Profession”.
In 1991 membership reached 200.
Tom Wilson served a second term as president. Membership reached 217.
392 persons attended the Annual Conference. The National President, Pat Lewis, visited the chapter on October 1st and 2nd. The job bank, initiated by the chapter, was receiving 30-40 calls per month with as many as 60 job openings listed. A long range plan was adopted. In order to reach more senior development officers the Senior Symposium was launched.
Another first for the chapter was an auction to teach members the techniques of conducting an auction and to raise funds for a Fund Raising shelf at the Multnomah library. The auction, chaired by Cliff Mansley, received outstanding support from members: Ron Carr, Dottie Wilson Ron Sumner and Judy Strader as well as other members. Our chapter, through its support of the Multnomah Library, became the first NSFRE Chapter Library Affiliate in the nation.
Tom Wilson was succeeded by J.S. May as president. Membership peaked at 237. The Philanthropy Day Dinner was moved to the Hilton Hotel.
J.S. May served a second year as president. Membership took a dip to 146.
Membership rebounded in 1995 under the leadership of president, Martha Richards. During her tenure chapter finances improved and for the first time the chapter employed a part-time executive secretary. Philanthropy Day was again a feature of the chapter’s program. In February we had another visit from the National President. The chapter continued to focus on reaching the senior development officer.
Membership continued to climb during Martha Richards second term as president reaching a
total of 220.
Mary Lee Planer was elected president. The Senior Symposium was dropped. Ron Carroll, National Chairman of the Board of NSFRE, met with the Oregon Board and various committees. Discussions were held regarding cooperation with WVDO (Willamette Valley Development Officers). Attendance at monthly meetings averaged 69.
Mary Lee Planer served a second term in 1998. Membership was 143. In 1998 Mary Lee Planer and Johanna Thoeresz nominated Robert Pamplin for the National Philanthropist of the Year award. The award was presented in New Orleans at the National NSFRE Conference. Subsequently Mr. Pamplin gave a grant of $8,000 to the chapter to enhance the Philanthropy Day Luncheon. This gift brought the event to a new height of State-wide prominence and influence in the philanthropic community.
Johanna Thoeresz was elected as president for 1999. During her term of office the Vollum Award was added to Philanthropy Day honoring one of Oregon’s most successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists. The award is now called the Howard and Jean Vollum Award for Lifetime Philanthropic Achievement recognizing that Jean was a full partner in their philanthropic endeavors. Julie Fitzgerald was appointed to serve as NSFRE’s representative to the Oregon Community Foundation’s “Giving in Oregon Council”. Membership on the Council gives the Chapter added credibility and recognition in the philanthropic community.
Joe Wedding’s term of office, in 2000, saw a considerable discussion regarding the role of prominent donors in setting the agenda for the organizations they serve. The question was “should substantial donors dictate or too strongly influence the direction of a non-profit organization”? The chapter wrestled with this question from a philosophical point of view and determined that fund raisers and the institutions they serve should resist having their goals set by key donors.
The Chapter had a period of inactivity during 2001 when president, Chris Selby, moved to Spokane in mid-term. The Philanthropy Day luncheon continued as a major event at the Hilton Hotel.
Following the period of some inactivity in 2001, JS May and Tom Wilson took over the reins of the chapter in 2002 as co-presidents. They reinvigorated the Board with monthly Board meetings at the Mallory hotel and resumed monthly meetings which had been discontinued. They held Board retreats and began rebuilding the membership. JS May introduced the idea of having recipients and their presenters speak at the Philanthropy Day (now) Luncheons. This has been hugely successful and has brought tremendous enthusiasm from participants and attendees.
Continuing the concept of co-presidents, Tom Wilson and Jim Lewis served in that capacity in 2004. The Chapter employed Lisa Morasch as the Executive Director. Board meetings were moved to the OHSU Board Room and were well attended. During this year eleven persons took the CFRE exam. The chapter also approved funds for a professional website.
In 2005 Jim Lewis’s and Julie Fitzgerald served as co-presidents. During their tenure as the chapter approved $1,000 to underwrite the CFRE program. The board continued its decade’s long discussion of the proper role of the AFP chapter relative to the Willamette Development Officers organization. This insoluble dilemma seems to be a continuing concern. The chapter also continued and further developed its relationship with the Oregon Business Magazine in sponsoring the Annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon. The luncheon in this year was incredibly successful and netted more than $17,000 in support of the chapter’s mission. The board approved Philanthropy Day Sponsor levels as follows: $7,500 Platinum, $4,000 Gold, $1,200 Tribute and $550 Patron. A major change was instituted in the structure of the chapter by adding several vice presidents. Each vice president coordinates several committees or functions. The chapter dropped the idea of co-presidents and selected Julie Fitzgerald as the President, John Korb as President elect, Kevin Cote, Treasurer and Cathy Barr, Secretary. The board approved funding the attendance of key officers at National leadership training events. This has resulted in better relationships and communications with the National staff.
A highlight of the year was a visit by Pat Bjorhovde, Western Delegate from the National Staff. She noted that 2004 was the first year that AFP had a loss in membership and brought to the table numerous recruiting ideas.
The Board approved contracting with eTapestry to maintain a membership and prospective membership base. This contract was not implemented.
During Julie Fitzgerald’s term in 2006 the chapter membership maintained itself at 132. The University of Oregon formed a Student Chapter under the auspices of our chapter and was granted $500 to help establish them-selves. The Philanthropy Day Luncheon had an attendance of more than 750, setting a new record. The mentoring program took on new life with definite plans for recruiting mentors and pairing them with mentees. A new emphasis was placed on education under the leadership of Kathy Hostettler. The chapter elected John Korb as president and Aaron Pearlman as President Elect.
Shortly after John Korb became President in 2007 he focused attention on an all-day retreat at the Menucha Retreat Center near Corbett. The retreat was facilitated by AFP Chair Robbe Healy and AFP Western Manager, Pat Bjorhovde. One result of the Retreat and the intense focus on goals was achieving the national 10 Star Award. During the year 13 candidates took the CFRE exam. Membership remained at 132. A social in the form of an Oktoberfest was held with 20 members in attendance. The chapter’s bookkeeping, which had been outsourced, was folded into a staff operation. A multi-year budgeting process was adopted which will help the chapter meet its goals. It was during this year, in recognition of the number of members from Southwest Washington, that the chapter name was changed to Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter. In addition the chapter continued its sponsorship of the AFP University of Oregon Chapter. Our Philanthropy Luncheon in partnership with the Oregon Business Magazine, reached a new high in attendance and sponsorships enabling the chapter to expand its mission in the fund raising field. A membership program was adopted including: letter and Donor Bill of Rights to new members, target prospects receive a personal letter, Summer Social at the Zoo, personal invitations to AFP events and creation of a local membership brochure. New member luncheons have been well received. CFRE Study group numbered 19. President elect Aaron Pearlman brought to the attention of the Board that the national organization requests all chapters have a uniform set of bylaws. The bylaws will include officer terms of 2 years and term limits of 8 years for board members. The exception will be that if a board member is in their eighth year and is elected as an officer they will be able to serve an additional 2 years. Kathy Hostettler has been nominated as President-elect. The chapter’s mission was restated as: Educate, Facilitate Certification, Advocate, Mentor, and Honor and Recognize.
With the leadership of Aaron Pearlman as president the chapter took numerous forward strides.
Due to a successful Philanthropy Day Luncheon the chapter ended the year with a balance of $48,000. Membership reached 135 with a net gain of 12. A WEB conference, sponsored by the Campbell Company, will be held which will be internationally broadcast. The Campbell Company also sponsored five WEB conferences including: Ethical Fund Raising; Keep Your Donors; Boomer Generation Women Create New Horizons for Fund Raising and Guerilla Tactics: Motivating Your Board And CEO to Raise Money. A happy note regarding the mentoring program indicated that there were more mentors than mentees. The Collins Group sponsored a DVD for orientation and preparation for the CFRE exams. A Chapter Diversity program was adopted. As part of its education emphasis the chapter awarded several scholarships to the National Conference. Another highly successful Philanthropy Day Luncheon was held at the Marriott Hotel and received kudos from many attendees